- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Hamilton County and six Chattanooga-area school systems filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the state saying local schools are not being funded as required by law.

The lawsuit was filed in the Chancery Court of Davidson County, the Chattanooga Times Free Press (https://bit.ly/1y1S0NH) reported. The suit alleged the state has “breached its duty under the Tennessee Constitution to provide a system of free public education for the children of this state.”

The lawsuit named Gov. Bill Haslam, Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, House Speaker Beth Harwell and other officials who serve on the Tennessee Board of Education.

The suit claimed the state’s funding formula underestimates the cost of teachers’ salaries by about $532 million. It also said schools face an annual shortfall of about $134 million in classroom costs.

“The governor is very disappointed after he and the commissioner made the commitment yesterday to a collaborative process to work closely with districts on these issues, and litigation will obviously decrease potential for collaboration,” Haslam spokesman David Smith said in a statement.

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Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, https://www.timesfreepress.com


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